Leading MEPs express concern for the health of Sakharov Prize laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh and call for Iranian authorities to listen to her claim for justice.
Heidi Hautala, Vice President in charge of Democracy, Human Rights and the Sakharov Community, and Maria Arena, Chair of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights issued the following statement on Nasrin Sotoudeh's renewed hunger strike and increased pressure on her family:
"We are strongly concerned about the health of our Sakharov Prize laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh. For the second time in less than six months, she puts her life at risk in a hunger strike, as the Iranian authorities refuse to respond to any communications requesting legal steps for the release of human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience. The unjust and illegal situation of political prisoners in Iran has been exacerbated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. They were widely excluded from the March 2020 mass release of prisoners in response to the outbreak of Corona and keep being deprived from their legal right of appeal.
Nasrin Sotoudeh is herself serving a 38-year prison sentence under fabricated charges and suffers arbitrary treatment. Late July, the Tehran Prosecutor froze her bank accounts without justification. Yesterday, her daughter Mehraveh was detained and released pending a second convocation.
Yet, Nasrin Sotoudeh's courage is unabated, as she continues to raise her voice for the most vulnerable. It is time for the Iranian authorities to listen to her claim for justice and refrain from putting pressure on her family!"
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